The world's top architecture schools

Written by kimberly wylie
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The world's top architecture schools
Architects design both exterior and interior features of buildings. (building it image by Vanessa van Rensburg from

Hundreds of universities and colleges offer students education in architecture. Students can pursue a bachelor's degree in architecture, or they can earn their undergraduate degree in another major, such as engineering, and then apply to grad school for a master's degree in architecture. Several schools have earned the distinction of being considered among the world's top architectural schools.

Columbia University

Columbia University is one of the consistently top-rated schools of architecture in the world. Their Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation began with Columbia College's architecture program in 1881, making it one of the first in the United States. Today, architecture is still one of the school's core programs, involving more than half of Columbia's faculty and students. Focused on both research and professional training, the curriculum challenges the premises, history and direction of the profession. In addition to their Master of Science in Architectural Design and their Master of Science in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture, Columbia also offers opportunities in advanced architectural research.

Columbia University 172 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10027 212-854-3414

Cooper Union

The Cooper Union is one of America's oldest colleges dedicated to art and architecture education. Their Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture offers students a five-year undergraduate program in architecture. This was the first professional degree program to be accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. The school combines research, theory, education, and other creative endeavours to explore architectural development. Cooper Union's curriculum prepares students for the profession by giving them the technological skills they need, and an understanding of the needs of the humans that will be inhabiting the spaces they'll help design to meet the increasingly complex societal needs. Students have use of an 8,000 square foot studio, with their own work area and drafting table. Their School of Architecture Computer Studio offers students their own workstations as well. In addition, with a faculty to student ratio of 1:5, students get personalised attention during their education.

Cooper Union 30 Cooper Square New York, NY 10003 212-353-4120

Royal College of Art

The Royal College of Art's architecture program may not be the largest or the oldest, but they are one of the top rated for architectural research in the world. The school was accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1983 and has come to be known as one of the best architecture departments in the United Kingdom. The Royal College of Art was one of only 12 architectural research institutions globally that were invited to exhibit their work at the 10th Architecture Biennale.

The Royal College of Art Kensington Gore London SW7 2EU 011-44-20-7590-4567

Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts

The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts' School of Architecture, located in Copenhagen, Denmark, is one of the oldest architectural schools in the world. The school--originally named The Royal Danish Painting, Sculpture and Building Academy of Copenhagen--was founded in 1754 as a 31st birthday gift to King Frederik V. The Academy educates students in three primary areas: building design, planning, and design. There are eleven departments in all--nine undergraduate and two graduate. Undergraduate departments include: town and landscape, process and methodology, space and habitation, space and form, building and realisation, experiment and technology and conditions and vision. The master's departments are town and building and design and industrial form.

Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts - School of Architecture Philip de Langes Allé 10 1435 Kbh. K Copenhagen, Denmark 011-45-3268-6000

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